Arabian Travel Market 2013 opens for business: past, present and future in focus

Arabian Travel Market 2013 opens for business: past, present and future in focusGlobal professionals join 25 international tourism ministers in Dubai for 20th edition of leading regional event; retrospective to celebrate tourism milestones as technological innovation shapes the next two decades of industry growth.

Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2013, the region’s leading travel industry showcase, opens its doors on Monday 6 May, with four days packed with activity dedicated to the future of tourism, while honouring industry milestones from the last 20 years.

Celebrating two decades of regional industry milestones as the Middle East’s pre-eminent tourism and hospitality platform, Arabian Travel Market runs until 9 May at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Center. The show welcomes over 2,500 exhibitors from 87 countries, covering 22,000 sqm of floor space, compared with just 300 companies and 2,000 sqm of the first edition, in 1994.

A total of 25 international tourism ministers will participate in the second annual UNWTO/ATM Ministerial Forum on Tuesday 7 May, with the theme of setting a common growth agenda for tourism and aviation. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the forum will look at how tourism policies and aviation can work together more closely in order to support sustained economic growth and sector development.

ATM 2013 opening photo - HRH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed opens Arabian Travel Market

Photo caption: HRH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai (middle), cuts the ribbon to mark the opening of Arabian Travel Market 2013 in the presence of HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President, CEO and Chairman, Department of Civil Aviation, The Emirates Group and Dubai World (Left) and HE Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, DTCM & CEO DWTC (right).

Visitor numbers are also set to break records this year, with Reed Travel Exhibitions, organiser of ATM, looking to build on the 2012 figure of 17,000 registered visitors. “This is a far cry from the 7,000 tourism professionals who visited for the very first time in the early 90s and a glowing testimony to all of our stakeholders,” said Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions.

His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre said

For one week in May every year the travel industry arrives in Dubai to take a look into the future of travel and tourism. As Dubai has grown, the show has grown with it and become one of the most important events on the global industry calendar. For those exhibitors and visitors who attended the first ATM, the Dubai of today would have been a city beyond imagination.

Echoing that sentiment, Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Gulf, Middle East & Iran said, “ATM has served as a catalyst for attracting key industry figures from across the globe, while underlining Dubai’s position as a regional centre for major events, especially as the city bids to host Expo 2020. Emirates has been a pivotal player at ATM since its inception, and for 20 years we have celebrated many milestones at ATM. It’s an ideal platform to showcase our constant innovation and new initiatives across the Emirates Group.”

Ali Abu Monassar – Chairman, The Vision Destination Management, added “ATM will continue to play a major role in the growth of the tourism sector as the industry platform that connects this region to the world.”

Arabian Travel has been an annual fixture on the Dubai calendar for 19 of its 20-year history, relocating only once – to Bahrain – in 1995.

This year’s event will be both a retrospective and an opportunity to look ahead at industry trends, with a strong focus on technology. Today’s line-up opens with a panel session entitled ‘20 Years: Now, Then and Tomorrow’, featuring the expert insight of industry leaders including HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President, CEO and Chairman, Department of Civil Aviation, The Emirates Group and Dubai World; HE Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, DTCM & DWTC; Iain Andrew, Divisional Senior Vice President, dnata; HE Marwan Al Sarkal, CEO, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority – Shurooq; Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President, Passenger Sales Worldwide, Emirates; Gerald Lawless, President and Group CEO, Jumeirah Group and Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions.

The introduction of the all-new Digital and Technology Day will see sought-after speakers from some of the world’s most influential tech companies including Tech Theatre sponsor, Google, as well as senior executives from TripAdvisor and Amadeus, share invaluable industry insight.

Toufic Tamim, Vice President Sales & Marketing – Middle East, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, the official host hotel for ATM 2013 commented – “After a successful association with ATM over the last 12 years, it has been remarkable for us to watch and experience on a first-hand basis how the show has evolved. Regionally and internationally, it remains an extremely important, show for anyone in the inbound and outbound tourism business,”

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, the show has grown to become the largest showcase of its kind in the region and one of the biggest in the world.

Arabian Travel Market 2013 will be held at the Dubai International Exhibition and Conference Centre from 6-9 May.

Nathalie Viselé, Director of Shamal Marketing Communications Dubai

 

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